Some days on our farm are easier than others, that’s true of every farm. Some days are difficult due to the weather, equipment breakdowns, broken fences and even broken hearts. Yes, broken hearts.
Yesterday our day began like any other day. It was 5:30 and Kevin had left the house already, I picked up my phone to read what was new in the world. I didn’t realize that one little move would change my entire day. I opened a couple of stories about agriculture and how out of touch rural people were to their urban cousins. Many of the article comments were harsh – proclaiming how ignorant rural America was to what was really happening in the world, how we were living in ancient times. As I pondered the judgmental comments I closed out of the article to read a message I had received in the night. What I read was heartbreaking news and it really put life into perspective.
I received word that one of our friends had lost their 8 year old son in the night due to a terrible accident. I went numb. A young life had been taken too soon; a family would be changed forever. God had called an Angel home and hearts were broken.
As a mom, my heart ached for our friends and tears streamed uncontrollably down my face. I felt that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, the one that makes you feel very sick. A million emotions came rushing to the surface, the need to go hug my kids and tell them I loved them. I wanted to call my parents and tell them how much I appreciated and loved them, and I wanted my husband by my side. I called Kevin and shared the terrible news with him; it rocked his world as much as it had mine. We were both in shock.
In that one moment, all of the other news in the world seemed unimportant. I didn’t have the energy to address the judgmental comments in that article about our rural way of life. I felt the need to focus on praying for our friends and their children. I wanted to help ease the pain my friends were feeling. This desire to help my friends isn’t unique to Rural America or Urban America. This is a common bond we all have. In times of need, we as American’s come together to help our friends and neighbors.
My heart is still aching as I type this out, my mind can’t stop thinking of our friends. Yesterday seemed to play out in slow motion for us on the farm, and I can only imagine how surreal it had to be for our friends. There are no words to help make the pain go away.
Too many of our days are spent focusing on negativity, difference of opinions, who is right and who is wrong. Yesterday helped me realize we all, Rural and Urban, need to embrace each day as a gift and focus on what we can do to make a difference in the life of our family, friends and neighbors, no matter how far away they may live. It is so easy to pass judgment on people we don’t know, or situations we only read about. It’s something we are all guilty of, no matter where we live. The Rural/Urban divide is really a silly thing to argue about, we are all American’s and we should focus on that.
Yesterday helped me remember to appreciate every minute I have with my loved ones. I recognized the people who were judging my way of life, have families too they are trying to protect and provide for. They have struggles just like our family does; they may have lost a job or a loved one recently and their pain may have been expressed in their comments.
We shouldn’t allow anger and hate to cloud our vision for the future. And as American’s, we shouldn’t let our country become divided by pointing fingers at those who choose to live in a different area of the country. At the end of the day, where we live isn’t as important as how we lived our day. Our children will benefit more from Rural American’s trying to understand the concerns of Urban America, and Urban American’s trying to understand the concerns of Rural America. We all have a story to tell, and it’s time we told our stories to teach others about our way of life. UNITED WE STAND!